Gloucestershire is an amazing place to raise children. I am originally from Hertfordshire and have fallen head over heels with the Cotswolds. I’m aware I’m late in posting this and the holidays are nearly over, but if you’re looking for some last minute things to do myself and some other lovely locals have written our favourite things to do with the littles.
Farms and Outdoor days out
Fruit picking! What’s more British than that in the summer time!? You pay for what you pick. There’s also a cafe and a nice little outdoor play area with a sandpit and old tractor – Harper absolutely loves it and we’ve actually gone a few times to just grab a coffee and play in the park.
Gloucester City Farm
A cute little volunteer run farm in the centre of Gloucester. When I say small, I mean very small! It’ll take about 10 minutes to see everything. However, check out their Facebook page for events they have running like pony rides and messy play. Better yet, entry is free and additional activities are really cheap! It’s 30p for some veggies to feed the animals too.
I love this little gem in Painswick, entry isn’t exactly cheap but it is a really lovely day out especially if your kids love being outdoors. There’s a little maze and an awesome wooden play area. The place has a cool history too, and gorgeous views!
Call me crazy, but I do like to try and grab a coffee with friends with Harper. It can be tough getting her to sit still but I have found some hidden gems locally that are as child-friendly as a swanky coffee shop could get. Danni from Mum Totally Me has shared a few of her faves.
Gloucester Services, M5 (between J11a and 12)
Not your average motorway toilet stop, Gloucester Services is essentially a really great farm shop (the scotch eggs are delicious!!) and café.
Once you’ve eaten your lunch/cake or just had a coffee, the little ones can play in the fantastic natural wood indoor play area. Complete with slides, climbing walls, bridges (depending on which side of the motorway you’re on), the kids are entertained and all for free. As I said, I have come here a lot since the littlest one was born. If she needs feeding I can sit at a table and do that quite happily whilst still watching the toddler play without her leaving my sight. Not your average soft play, that’s for sure. They do also have an outdoor play area but we haven’t ventured that far yet.
All of this, and free parking, the real question is why haven’t you tried it yet!
The School House Café, Cheltenham
A community not-for-profit café, this place is making waves in Cheltenham as one of the best places to go if you have young kids with you. I only had the littlest one with me when I popped in but there were plenty of activities going on for slightly older children (it’s the Easter hols so I know some of the activities were based on this). As its’ name would suggest, the café is based in an old school house and as such it has a huge amount of room for younger ones to run around in (think old assembly hall and you’re not far wrong). There’s also plenty of room to get your buggy in and out – something which is a real issue for so many other places in Cheltenham.
Steph from StephlovesHoney details her favourite local parks for a fun few hours out.
Pitville Park It’s a few minutes walk from our house and it has so much to offer! As well as the huge, main play area, there are expansive lawns, perfect for picnics and games, a boating lake, a smaller play area, a waterfall and stream to splash in! There are plenty of picnic tables and benches dotted around if sitting on the floor isn’t your thing and a total of three food and drink outlets, so wherever you set up camp, you wont be far from a fresh cup of coffee!
There are so many glorious walks right on our doorstep; Lesley from Places with Ed shared some of her favourites to do with children.
Crickley Hill, Birdlip
Great views and woodlands where you can just go in and play or do a circular walk. Pay for parking in the car park on the hill. Cafe and information centre at the start of the walk.
Belas Knap, Winchcombe
If you drive up the hill following the signs to ‘Belas Knap’ you can park in a lane. From there the walk is up a hill but not too far. The 5000 year old Belas Knap is a Neolithic Long Barrow which children can explore.
Chosen Hill Nature Reserve, Churchdown
Woodlands with lovely bluebells in the spring and lovely dappled shade in the summer. Parking is free on top of the hill.
Also, if you’re looking ahead to September I am working with Cotswold Airport on their upcoming festival! It’s looking to be an amazing day jam packed with fun. I have an affiliate code – MAMABEAR – that will give you 20% off your tickets.